Griggs Begs Council to Hold Off On Picking Gas Drilling Task Force Till He's in Office

Categories: City Hall
Neumann_Griggs_Merten.jpg
Photo by Sam Merten
Dave Neumman was ousted by Scott Griggs, who can't fathom why Neumann's involved in selecting the gas drilling task force. Good question.
The city council's last big day before going on summer vacation is June 22, when the agenda will be action-packed. On the hefty to-do list: voting on the makeup of the gas drilling task force in advance of its first meeting some time in July, as task force head Lois Finkelman told the council last week. To which councilman-elect Scott Griggs says this morning: Whoa, whoa, whoa, y'all need to hold up.

Because if you thumbed all the way through the latest stack o' council memos you'll have noticed the new council doesn't get sworn in till 10 a.m. June 27 at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. And you don't have to look far to find that the subject of gas drilling in Oak Cliff and elsewhere inside the city limits is near and dear to Griggs, who used the issue (among others) to chase Dave Neumann out of office -- the same Dave Neumann who, for some reason, was among Mayor-For-Now Dwaine Caraway's appointees to the motherfracking task force and will help choose its members even though he and Ron Natinsky will be out of the office the first time the group actually convenes.

Anyway.

Griggs wants desperately to be involved in the task force selection process and is asking the mayor and council to back off a mere five days till he can get in office. That's all -- five motherfracking days. He writes:
It is vital that we restore the trust of District 3 residents in our municipal government and provide accountability for decisions made on their behalf. To that end, it is prudent and essential that we delay the June 22 vote on the composition of the Gas Drilling Task Force until I take office on Monday, June 27. I am writing to request such a delay.

This five day delay will not impede the Gas Drilling Task Force's timetable whatsoever, but it will ensure that District 3 residents are properly represented on this very important issue.
His whole missive follows. GriggsLettertoCouncil

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26 comments
Bettyculbreath
Bettyculbreath

Neumann is the elected Council person until the new ones are sworn into Office.What the hell is wrong with you people? A month ago you were mad because the committee was not done make up your dam mine.The next Mayor just might not want a fracking committee.Grow up Dallas you can not rule the World and make up rules as you go.

Edgar
Edgar

Agreed - makes sense to vote after the lame ducks leave.

As a slight aside, you mention that Griggs "used [the gas drilling issue] to chase Dave Neumann out of office."  Based on your reporting, Griggs took pains to distance himself from the industry.  Yet your staff never reported on the connection to the industry that Griggs touts on his firm's website.  What's up with that?

Jeff S. Phillips
Jeff S. Phillips

I am so glad Scott is now my representative. Now if we could just get more Scott's and Angela's on the council we'd really be able to clean up that mess on Marilla.

Scott M.
Scott M.

This current city council is desperately trying to stymie those opposed to gas drilling in Dallas. Ann Margolin and Jerry Allen falsely used time and money as reasons to limit the task force to just 16 hours in 8 meetings over three months ending in October, more than a year before the EPA study is even released. They did this AFTER claiming that there is no need for Dallas to spend millions on a study of its own since the EPA was already doing a study. The purpose of the task force was supposed to be to recommend changes to the drilling ordinance, but how can it effectively address those issues without the benefit of the EPA study unless Dallas spends the money itself, in either case taking a LOT longer than 16 hours this July through October. Scott Griggs is correct - this whole thing needs the input of the new city council, and the task force needs a LOT more time that what was allotted by Caraway and his cronies in the post Leppert days. It is unfair to all citizens of Dallas to handcuff the task force so that it cannot possibly be effective in recommending needed changes to our gas drilling ordinance.

Brenda Marks
Brenda Marks

Just another example of the lack of rational, deliberate thought at city hall.  This needs to be pulled off the June 22 agenda immediately.  Conspiracy or not.

Anonymous
Anonymous

This has got to be troubling to the bunch of idiots on city council (to be fair that only describes the majority of the council, not everyone). Now that District 3 has a council member who intends to stand up for himself and his district, they can't just go about business as usual.

Susanne
Susanne

@Bettyculbreath:  Actually, the city of Dallas is not a dictatorship. The citizens do vote and have a say in what goes on. Rules are to be followed, yes. But going forward with an agenda on gas drilling with the very people that were voted out of office because of this issue...very undemocratic. Lame ducks should just tend to their wounds. 5 days is not an eternity in the big scheme of things.

Willie
Willie

Can you please post the link to the firm's web site?  Thanks.

Cliff Dweller
Cliff Dweller

Let's hope we add Sandy Greyson and David Kunkle to that list, Jeff.

trannyntraining
trannyntraining

I hear they're making a lot of progress with genetic cloning these days:)

homeowner2
homeowner2

There is no shortage of studies, the Council can work with. You are reading this all wrong the very formation of this committee assures that drilling will be curtailed

homeowner 2
homeowner 2

You are the idiot, What Scott is doing is for optics. There is plenty of anti drilling firepower on the committee including the Chairman who has environmental degrees. The fact that the committee was formed and constructed with the balance it has almost assures an anti drilling outcome. Ann Margolin is right to let them work expeditiously and get a decision to curtail drilling on the table. Its the State of Texas you should be concerned about. They are trying to take away the right of the cities to restrict drilling. You should also be concerned about the court rulings on this issue in the future.

Scott M.
Scott M.

I agree! Scott Griggs is precisely what this district has needed for a long time. He actually cares what happens here, and he is actually involved in making District 3 a better place to live and work.

yeahIsaidthat
yeahIsaidthat

They do patents and trademarks for many industries including the oil industry. They do  not represent the oil and gas industry in hopes of buying their way into a state or municipal government. www.griggslaw.com

Willie
Willie

Can you please explain why drilling will be curtailed?  Thanks.

heart and soul
heart and soul

Who is the idiot? 

Have you seen the current list of names for the tack force? One vote for the entire southern sector ( where they want to drill) and you call that anti-drilling?

Darrd2010
Darrd2010

There isn't any anti drilling folks on the selection committee that I know of. Angela Hunt was the only one back in 2008 to call out the city for making a back room deal for $34 million and getting it pushed through without discussion. Gee, somehow that sounds familiar. Back then, the research was nil, there was no 'Gasland' move to watch. She just wants the city to take it's time and answer as many questions as exist about drilling in urban areas and it's effects on you and me. Meanwhile, I did not know that Linda Koop had environmental degrees. Really? What kind of environmental degree and what school? 16 hours does not qualify for doing the right work in the first place. Flower Mound is finishing up an 8 month study, Ft. Worth is finishing up a 1 year study. That Dallas currently has an ordinance allowing industry to drill 300 feet from your kitchen and then only wants to spend 16 hours to study the issue does not bode well. Also, no air monitors required. Also, using municipal water via a fire hydrant. But you are right to be concerned about the State and it's whoreish behavior. They truly are trying to run us all into the ground. In the end, the city of Dallas will continue to tell you, don't forget to NOT water your lawn between 10 and 6.

Edgar
Edgar

I've closed this loop for you in comments on previous blog posts.  To recap, my initial point was that Griggs was willing to lie, or at least massage the truth, to capitalize on anti-drilling fervor in the district in which he ran for office.  My second point is that I thought the first point was newsworthy, and I'm disappointed that the Observer tossed its journalistic integrity out the window by failing to report on the matter.

heart and soul
heart and soul

"for the uninitiated." Really? I don't think you know what you are talking about but then I am not initiated I guess.Scott has been working to let people know about the dangers with fracking. He hasn't been promoting it. Do you have a point? You do know the election is over right?

Edgar
Edgar

Notice the reference to "completion and production equipment."  That's hydraulic fracturing equipment, for the uninitiated.

I'm guessing the firm performs its services for a fee.  Given that Griggs repeatedly represented that he has no connection to the industry, I think it warrants an explanation.  Apparently the Observer did not.  Reminds me a lot of when the Snooze opted to forego reporting on Leppert-damaging news until after the Trinity referendum.  The Observer sure criticized the DMN for that, but in this case, they were made aware before the Griggs election, and it's been radio silence.

homeowner 2
homeowner 2

Yes, first let me state one big problem that hasn't been raised. The city has taken $30 m from the drillers. This was done by the 07, 08 council not the 09 or 11 council. The city obviously doesn't have the money to give back. Anyway multiple studies will show groundwater contamination as well as other pollution and the committee will have to deny drilling until the process is iproved. This will put off drilling for years or lead to litigation. ultimately the courts not the city will decide, but this committee will never grant drilling rights but also wont shut it down so the $30m will not have to be on the table for a long time. The real issue is that in Texas the rights or the mineral holders is very powerful and is not the domain of the city to arbitrarily deny.

homeowner 2
homeowner 2

Finkleman not Koop has the degrees. Also the committee has specific slots for the environmental people. Once the endless parade of studies is shown, caution will be the end result. Worry about your legislature. Also I am tired of the endless bloggers whose first response to every issue is everyone is an idiot or corrupt. Council people do $150,000 jobs for $37,500. many of these issues involve some shades of gray which many of you idiot bloggers dont seem to comprehend.

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